Video Overview

Introduction

Today, Microsoft adds a new surface to their tablet line. No, not a third dimension—leave those 3D glasses at the theater. Instead, let your friends at iFixit break out the X-ray specs and show you what's inside the new Surface Pro 2.

Want to take a look-see into more iFixit fun? Peer into our Facebook, look through our rose-tinted Instagram lens, or peek at our Twitter.

This teardown is not a repair guide. To repair your Microsoft Surface Pro 2, use our service manual.

  1. What's beneath the surface of Microsoft's latest tablet? A fair number of puns, but also some familiar, and improved, hardware:
    • What's beneath the surface of Microsoft's latest tablet? A fair number of puns, but also some familiar, and improved, hardware:

      • 10.6 inch ClearType Full HD Display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080

      • 4th generation Intel® Core™ i5 Processor

      • Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) + Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy technology

      • 64/128 GB or 256/512 GB storage capacity

      • 4 GB RAM (models with 64/128 GB storage) or 8 GB RAM (models with 256/512 GB storage)

      • Two 720p HD cameras, front and rear-facing

      • Full-size USB 3.0, Mini DisplayPort, and microSDXC card reader

  2. The Surface Pro 2 sports a 2-stage kickstand, with options for a 24 or 40-degree viewing angle.
    • The Surface Pro 2 sports a 2-stage kickstand, with options for a 24 or 40-degree viewing angle.

    • The kickstand is secured with two screws. Happily, our new Pro Tech Screwdriver Set includes the perfect T5 Torx driver to reach in and get this teardown started.

    • The kickstand comes off with little fuss, but if the previous model is any indication, repairability issues will soon begin to … show themselves.

    • As pacifists, we prefer our trusty iOpener. But when pushed, we're not afraid to push back with the big (heat) guns.

    • Time to poke a plethora of picks under the now-molten adhesive. The use of oodles of dainty picks over brute force ensures our ribbon cables' protection.

      • Let the record show that you can fit at least 21 iFixit Opening Picks under the display of the Surface Pro 2.

    • We slowly but surely free the Surface Pro 2's display, trapped like a baby diplodocus in a treacherous tar pit of black adhesive.

    • We flick aside four ribbon cables, and with that, this tablet's internals are revealed to the world.

    • At first glance things look eerily similar to last time, although the motherboard is a pretty new shade of ...blue? Green?

    • Before we can poke or prod any components, we'll first have to extract the dozens of screws holding this sucker together.

      • And whaddya know—it's the same 52 screws (of 3 different sizes) seen in the previous generation, holding in a plastic bezel and two metal brackets.

    • As much as we love screws, 52 seems like overkill, and we've only just scratched the...exterior of this device.

    • Finally, the motherboard is free and we can get at the fun stuff.

    • Changes to the cooling methods from the original Surface Pro are strictly software-based: the fans remain the same, but run less frequently to minimize power usage.

    • If you fancy a little copper with your tablet, the Surface Pro 2 has it: a notebook-worthy heat sink rounds out the cooling.

    • We've got storage! This time around, Microsoft shifts from a Micron/Marvell combination to one single IC manufacturer, SK Hynix.

    • SK Hynix HFS128G3AMNB 128 GB mSATA 6.0 Gbps SSD, using:

      • SK Hynix H27QEGDVEBLR 32 GB NAND Flash (four ICs for 128 GB total)

      • SK Hynix H5PS2G63JMR 32 MB DDR2 SDRAM

      • Link A Media LM87800AA SSD Controller

    • The ICs on the front side of the motherboard may look like little black squares on the (ahem) outside, but underneath they house some high-tech brainpower:

      • SK Hynix H9CCNNN8JTML 8 Gb (1 GB) LPDDR3 RAM (total of 4 * 1 GB = 4 GB)

      • Atmel MXT154E Touchscreen Controllers

      • Atmel UC256L3U 256KB Flash, 32-bit AVR Microcontroller

      • Winbond 25X40CL1G 4M-bit Serial Flash

      • Parade PS6625

      • Realtek ALC3230 Audio Codec

      • Atmel U1320J

    • Yet more ICs adorn this side of the motherboard:

      • Realtek RTS5304

      • MXIC MX25L4006EZNI 4Mbit SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) Flash

      • Novatek NT96132QG

      • Texas Instruments TPS5162 (ACTIVE) 2-Phase DCAP+ Step-Down Controller

      • ITE IT8528VG

      • Texas Instruments TPS51367 Integrated FET Converter with Ultra-Low Quiescent

    • The ICy party continues on the back side of the motherboard:

      • Intel Core i5-4200U Processor

      • Novatek NT96132QG

      • Marvell Avastar 88W8797 Integrated 2x2 WLAN/Bluetooth/FM Single-Chip SoC

      • Winbond 25Q128FVSQ Serial Flash presumably the next generation of the previous 25Q64FV

      • Texas Instruments TPS51367 Integrated FET Converter with Ultra-Low Quiescent

      • Winbond 25X05CL Serial Flash

    • Microsoft still adheres the battery to the rear case and still warns users not to remove it.

      • Pretty ironic, considering they clearly know their way around a user-friendly means of securing a battery—screws.

    • If you're looking for the secret of the Surface Pro 2's juiced-up battery life, look elsewhere: this is the exact same "Escalade" 42 Wh battery we saw earlier this year.

      • Instead, look to better power management and the Haswell i5 chip, which ensures that the tablet drinks in moderation.

    • The two battery cells are wrangled by a Texas Instruments BQ30Z55 cowpoke battery pack manager.

    • Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Repairability Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair)

    • The battery is not soldered to the motherboard—so it can be replaced without soldering, if not without great difficulty.

    • The SSD can be replaced, but not without first risking damage to the tablet simply by opening it.

    • There are over 90 screws inside this device. Mechanical fasteners are great, but frankly, we draw the line at 89.

    • The display assembly consists of a fused glass panel and LCD, and is extremely difficult to remove and replace.

    • Tons of adhesive hold everything in place, including the display and battery.

    • The delicate and arduous opening procedure leaves no room for mistakes: one slip-up, and you'll likely shear one of the four ribbon cables in the edge of the display.

19 Comments

Who manufacturedthe antennas?

Geoff Schulteis - Reply

Thanks. I 'll stick with a touch screen ultrabook or a PC. Both of which offer better performance and higher levels of functionality along with the ease of repair. People are being sold a bill of goods with these tablets.

Will Smith - Reply

Is the display the same as the Surface 1?

Richard Lin - Reply

as far as I can tell the screen/digitizers look identical. It would be nice if the surface 2 pictures were high enoughresolution to confirm this- but they are not. Since nobody is willing to pull these apart based on the glue/ and very expensive replacement part ($300.00!!!) we will have to wait and see.

Greg Beeblebrox -

Can you post the weight of the components. It would be very interesting to compare the weight of components of this 2lb machine vs 1lb ipad air

Vishal Shah - Reply

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